VP Kamala Harris comes to Charlotte to announce climate investments

CHARLOTTE — Vice President Kamala Harris visited Charlotte on Thursday.

Harris gave a speech at the Naomi Drenan Center on the Biden administration’s investments to combat climate change.

“Every community has the capacity to join the clean energy economy, but not every community has had the capacity to do it,” Harris said.

She then officially opened a Biden campaign field office.

The Biden campaign is investing heavily in North Carolina, and the Charlotte office is one of 10 in the state.

One of the first stops Harris made in Charlotte was at Lavonn’s Grier Heights home.

He told Channel 9 that before moving there, he paid hundreds every month through gas and electric bills.

“This home isn’t just a safe place for everybody; it’s a safe place for myself,” Shavonn said. “Sometimes my friends would be like, ‘We don’t want to come over there; it’s cold.’”

His green home was purchased with the help of Community Bank Self-Help. It’s a non-profit that helped build 49 homes in the Grier Heights community, and thanks to the Greenhouse Reduction Fund, they plan to build thousands more across the country.

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the funding is meant to ensure communities like Grier Heights aren’t left out of the legislation’s massive clean energy investment.

The funding will help homes and businesses in low-income or historically disenfranchised communities get more energy-efficient with better insulation, windows, and appliances.

“We’re talking about real people with their dreams and aspirations. This is a big deal,” Harris explained.

While in Charlotte, Harris also announced $20 billion in awards to support climate and clean energy projects. That includes things like distributed clean power generation and storage, net-zero retrofits of homes and small businesses, and zero-emission transportation.

Harris will then open a field office in Uptown Charlotte. It is one of 10 across the state.

North Carolina was the closest state President Joe Biden lost in 2020. Political experts say to expect the Biden and Harris campaign to go hard in this state and invest heavily.

The Biden campaign has invested $30 million in North Carolina advertisements so far. Experts say that number is going to continue to climb.

Biden and Harris are both expected to make several more visits to the Tar Heel state.

(WATCH BELOW: How a new type of sand on the Outer Banks could help fight climate change)

Michelle Alfini

Michelle Alfini, wsoctv.com

Michelle is a climate reporter for Channel 9.